City Council Unanimously Votes to Remove Bench That Features ‘God’ Quote From State Founder

OIL CITY, Pa. — A city council in Pennsylvania has unanimously voted to remove a park bench that was meant to honor veterans due to objection from an atheist group regarding a God-centered inscription on the display that is attributed to the state’s founder.

“From an administration standpoint, this is heading toward litigation,” Mark Schroyer, the city manager of Oil City, told Explore Clarion. “At that point, we have to decide what are our wins, losses and gain. … Our collective opinion is, if it’s winnable, it would be so costly [that] what would we actually be gaining other than taking the stand our residents are asking?”

“Our biggest concern is exposure to attorney fees,” also remarked City Solicitor Robert Varsek. “We would be sued for injunctive relief where they order the city to remove the bench, and for damages and also be sued for attorney fees under the civil rights law.”

As previously reported, American Atheists (AA) sent a letter last November to the mayor of Oil City to request that the Justus Park bench, which was donated in 2003 by a local branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), be removed. It assert that the inscribed text violates the U.S. Constitution.

“Men who aren’t governed by God, will be governed by tyrants,” the bench reads, paraphrasing a quote that is often attributed to Pennsylvania founder William Penn, a Quaker who wrote a number of theological books and who once stood trial for “causing a tumult” in preaching in the streets.

AA contended that the quote violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which instructs that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The group also said the text is disrespectful to non-Christians.

“[T]he Tyrants Bench contains an overtly religious message which endorses one particular religious viewpoint: Christianity. The statement that ‘Men who aren’t governed by God will be governed by tyrants’ not only has absolutely nothing to do with honoring our service members, but is derisive toward the all non-Christian American service members who have served and died for this country,” its letter asserted.

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But local residents pushed back against AA, launching a “Save the Bench” campaign and pledging over $17,000 should the city face a legal challenge.

Pennsylvania Founder William Penn, Quaker, street preacher and author of books such as “No Cross, No Crown”

“We ask that each one of you recognize that these groups, such as this atheist organization, are fighting a bigger battle and using Oil City as a pawn in their strategy to further their agenda,” campaign co-organizer Heather Mohnkern told city council members during the meeting on Thursday. “For council to be swayed by one voice over the many they have heard in defense of our position would be tragic.”

Rob Lazar expressed concern over what might be the next freedom to be stripped away if the bench is allowed to be removed.

“We celebrated here in Oil City a Good Friday breakfast. Following the breakfast was a cross walk. A group walk around the city with a cross indicating the greatest thing that has every happened to mankind. What’s next? Will we not be allowed to hold the cross walk on city streets?” he asked.

“Scripture says government gets its authority from God Himself,” Lazar added. “It’s not about a bench, but what’s written on it. Where do we draw the line?”

Nonetheless, due to legal and financial concerns, city council members voted to return the bench to the VFW, which requested that if the display was removed, that its other non-religious bench and memorial be returned as well. The VFW says that it will now erect the displays on its own property.

As previously reported, in a recent dissenting opinion in a New Mexico Ten Commandments case, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Paul Kelly, Jr. and Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich noted that the Establishment Clause is being interpreted incorrectly and not in “the historical understanding of an ‘establishment of religion,’ and thus with what the First Amendment actually prohibits.”

They explained that “[e]stablishment was … the norm in the American Colonies. Exclusive Anglican establishments reigned in the southern states, whereas localized Puritan establishments were the norm in New England, except in Rhode Island.”

This began in Europe, “the continent of origin for most American colonists,” Kelly outlined. “[E]ach country had long established its own state church—a generalized version of cuius regio, eius religio—over which each government exercised varying degrees of control. Germany and Scandinavia had official Lutheran establishments; Holland, a Reformed state church; France, the Gallican Catholic Church; Ireland, the Church of Ireland; Scotland, the Church of Scotland; and so on.”

Therefore, the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution regarding “respecting an establishment” only referred to showing favoritism to one state establishment over another, and solely applied to the federal government.

“From the words of the text, though, two conclusions are relatively clear: first, the provision originally limited the federal government and not the states, many of which continued to support established churches; and second, the limitation respected only an actual ‘establishment of religion,’” the federal judges outlined.


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  • Rev Donald Spitz

    The verse most of you are familiar with:
    Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

  • Vicki Lynn Dulebohn

    I would be glad to give this bench a loving home.I’d put it under a tree in front of my house and honor the quote.

    Just saying.

    • Michael C

      I think it would be lovely on private property.

      • mikegillespie

        I know just the right place for you to put it too.

        • Johndoe

          Where would that be?

      • NHConservative777

        It’s “lovely” right where it is and NOTHING in the Constituion forbides it being there. But then again, why follow the Constituion when tyranny is your business.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          The Supreme Court disagrees with you.

          • NHConservative777

            Well, we know that the Supreme Court is never wrong. They really nailed it with Dred Scott didn’t they?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Whether you or I agree with the Supreme Court is not the point. The point is that the law is whatever SCOTUS says it is. You can’t say there is no constitutional provision for “X” if the Supreme Court has ruled that there is.

            You’re free to disagree with a ruling but not to pretend it doesn’t exist.

          • cadcoke5

            The Supreme Court does not get to override the Constitution. Most of the Supreme Court members want to amend the constitution by re-defining its words, without bothering with the Constitutionally prescribed method. They should be impeached.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            No, they don’t get to “override the Constitution.” But who decides when that happens? The Even More Supreme Court? The Really Really Supreme Court? The Absolutely Final We Mean It This Time Court?

          • cadcoke5

            It would be determined by 1/2 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate, which are what is needed for impeachment.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Impeaching a justice says nothing about any particular ruling, and would not overrule it. Even if it did, no justice has ever been impeached other than Samuel Chase in 1805, so unless your objections to SCOTUS pertain to Fries’ Rebellion, you really don’t have much of an argument.

          • Colorado_Patriot60

            You are arguing with a leftist that believes only they can ignore Law!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Uh, no, that’s kind of the exact opposite of what I said.

          • Bob Johnson

            Yes, words get redefined. “Arms” meant single-shot, black powder, smooth-bore, flint-lock today it includes AR-15s and enjoys protection under the Second Amendment. And “Press” used to mean lead-type printing on paper today radio, television, and the Internet enjoy protection under the First Amendment.

          • cadcoke5

            The founders understood that “Arms” included other kinds of weapons and advancements in weaponry beyond the single-shot flintlock. The machine gun was invented in 1718.
            The word “press” has long be universally applied to other technologies, and describes an industry. It is also pretty clear that this is the industry that was meant by the authors of the constitution.
            This sort of interpretation by the courts is appropriate. Redefining the establishment clause to mean something other than what the signers of the constitution meant is NOT an appropriate kind of interpretation.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Who says it’s not?

          • cadcoke5

            First, should mention that when a thread only indents a certain amount, and subsequent replies to those comments do not indent. So it can get difficult to know which comment is in reply to another comment.
            I believe you are replying with “Who says it is not,” to my statement, “Redefining the establishment clause to mean something other than what
            the signers of the constitution meant is NOT an appropriate kind of
            interpretation.”
            Well, hopefully I will convince some people here, including here, that it is not an appropriate interpretation. Though, I will acknowledge that the people with the power to act on it, have so far, decided to permit the Supreme Court to do anything they want.
            When the Supreme Court has the ability to over-ride what the signers understood it to mean, they can bypass the amendment process. They amend it by re-defining words and sentences to mean whatever they want.

          • Bob Johnson

            To solve the lack of indent problem, you can place your cursor over the name of the person after the arrow (in this case “Bob Johnson”), a pop-up box will give you the first line of the message.

            The Supreme Court in almost every case before it, must interpret the scope of phrases in rendering a verdict. “Arms,” “Press,“ and in the 6th Amendment “him” and “his.” Note that sometime “his” means only male humans, sometimes both men and women, and sometime it includes corporations. The court has repeatedly had to review the establishment clause.

          • cadcoke5

            Thank you.

          • John Love

            Yes, but Bob such do not trumps the law as it is written. And it can be reverted. You just need other litigation.

          • Bob Johnson

            Such rulings do not trump the law – they are the law. Yes, it may eventually be reverted, but that will cost millions of dollars and take several years. Until then it is the law.

          • John Love

            It is hillarious that you are trying to side with something that has no ground in Constitution.
            Which is the thing we will remember when next rulings come to our side:)
            I think now, it is a fair oligarchic contest between us.

          • Colorado_Patriot60

            Why? The communpiss Left ignore Federal Laws all the time.

          • libertynottyranny

            Just curious, when did congress make the law to put that bench in this particular park?

          • NHConservative777

            Congress has no jurisdiction in that matter. Oopsie!

          • John Love

            So, the bench does not violate the Establishment Clause…

        • CMY

          Exactly !!!

        • Bella Gray

          You are right. Our Constitution does not require the rejection of religion, in fact it support not rejecting religion.

        • Brien

          So it does not bother you to abrogate others’ rights?!!

          • NHConservative777

            And what “rights” would they be, Brien?

      • Chet

        Much lovelier to have stayed just where it was intended to be… Those who are offended just look the other way as you sit…

      • Chet

        You’d likely still be bitter just looking at it as you passed by as it’s words serve but to remind you of one’s own personal accountability. After all it is He, with whom we all have to do, sooner or later… Nevertheless, Jesus saves from the guttermost to the uttermost, excluding none…

    • TQuinn

      I am from MA and everything the AA is doing pisses me off. They won’t be happy until they have eliminated all religions from the country. Why don’t the residents who want the bench ask the town to subdivide a 20ft x 20 ft area of the park containing the bench and privately purchase it and the land from the town. Then it would be your freedom to keep the bench as you would be exercising your religious rights. You could grant the town any necessary easements that would be required. Screw the AA.

    • Vicki Lynn Dulebohn

      I agree with those who say it should stay where it is…. I hope they don’t smash it to keep it from being honored elsewhere.

      There were crosses on state land on a mountain in California. The local Christian community purchased the parcel of land in order to keep them there…. (according to Pastor Gary)

  • Ben Welliver

    Ooh, a bench – that’s THEOCRACY!!!

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      America was a Christian theocracy; that’s why it was noble and had freedom. Secularism makes men slaves to chaotic immorality; today’s West and its servant nations are the proof. Man needs God to be saved and be good and free.

      • Johndoe

        America has never been a theocracy. You need to read some American history

        • Amos Moses

          yes it is ……… under Ka’ Amaru ….. or Amaru Ka …….. America ………

          Ka = Light

          Amaru = Serpent (Quechua)

          The serpent is an ancient symbol of healing for many cultures. Ka Amaru, The Serpent of Light, is a serpent that undergoes the Kundalini process, which is an awakening in the spine that leads The Serpent of Light back to its source. During the Kundalini process, The Serpent of Light sheds the limitations of its body and transforms into a dragon that can fly.

          otherwise known as (AKA) satan ………………

          • Michael C

            Isn’t the word for light in Quechua “achkiy?”

          • Amos Moses

            light in Quechua
            translation and definition “light”, English-Quechua Dictionary online

            light

            achkiy
            (of coffee) served with extra milk or cream

            different word ……………..

          • Amos Moses

            light in Quechua
            translation and definition “light”, English-Quechua Dictionary online

            k’ancha { noun }
            electromagnetic waves
            electromagnetic wave

            probably some variant of k’ancha …………

          • Johndoe

            Too funny!

          • Amos Moses

            Too true ………..

  • Ambulance Chaser

    Had the bench said something positive and relevant to the matter like “God bless our troops,” the argument might be made that the bench is either too innocuous to bother with or even innocuous enough to not be a violation at all. Instead, it’s a nasty, divisive, factually-incorrect slap at non-religious people that has nothing to do with honoring the troops. I can’t imagine who thought erecting this bench on public property would be a good idea.

    “Therefore, the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution regarding ‘respecting an establishment’ only referred to showing favoritism to one star establishments over another, and solely applied to the federal government.”

    That’s very nice but the 14th Amendment and 200 years of case law now exist that apply the same restrictions to state and local governments as well.

  • Parodyx

    I find that bench quote to be preachy.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      Truth is preached.

    • Tianzhu

      Shouldn’t that be a photo of two very tiny vienna sausages?

      • Parodyx

        Nope – it’s a photo, not a mirror.

    • J J

      Tough

      • Ambulance Chaser

        Tough what? The opponents of the bench are legally correct.

  • Ira Pistos

    Their hatred has diseased their minds.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    The Northeast is over. Both ISIS and liberals destroy historic monuments and churches and crosses.

    • Johndoe

      America is a nation of many faiths and none at all. Religion has absolutely zero to do with being an American.

      • Ginger

        America was founded by Christians to be a Christian nation. Harvard was founded by Puritans and it early motto “For Christ, the church, and truth.” We are in the final generations and Bible prophesy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. But how many really study the Bible to know of our Father’s truth? Too many years of modern media brainwashing.

        • Johndoe

          We are in no sense a christian nation. We are a melting pot of faiths and for some, no faith at all. No such thing as fulfillment of prophesy but believe as you wish.

          • Ginger

            I have peace of mind, because I know what is happening,
            Have a good trip.

        • Quark Spark

          Perhaps you should read some of the quotes by our founding fathers. Especially in ratified documents, like the Treaty of Tripoli.

          The United States is not a Christian nation. It is a free nation where people of all faiths and religions or those that have neither, are welcome.

          • Ginger

            Abraham Lincoln In his first inaugural orders he declared:
            “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust In the best way our present difficulty.”
            I believe Lincoln was our last GREAT President.

          • Quark Spark

            Last I checked, Lincoln was not a founding father.

          • Ginger

            I never said he was a founding father. You are word twisting. I used his quote to point out this nation was Christian going into the Civil War. We did have some founders that also showed the Christian beliefs. One Revolutionary-era
            firebrand Patrick Henry, who said, “It cannot be said too strongly or too often
            that this great nation was not found by religionists, but by Christians”

        • Papi

          I always laugh when christians talk of others being brainwashed, when that is all religion is. Religion is nothing more than brainwashing, and controlling the populace through fear and intimidation.

          • Ginger

            Then I will laugh at you, because He will show the world He is “ehyeh
            `asher `ehyeh” and flesh man or woman can do nothing. He holds Christians not out of fear, but it is our reverence for Him that will see us through. Have a nice trip.

          • Papi

            I don’t care how much you revere your imaginary friend, it still doesn’t exist. There is no after life, there are no gods.

          • Brien

            How about your ‘He’ just show up now ??! You have no proof – just mouthings and fables! Show your evidence or just shut up with your lies!

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    “Men who aren’t governed by God, will be governed by tyrants.”- so true! This kind of truth has been America’s real strength and the reason of freedom’s existence.

    • Johndoe

      Are you ok? We’re not enslaved by sodomy. True Americans actually live here and have the freedom to worship or not.

    • Brien

      You are one sick person – grow up!

  • Amos Moses

    so it appears they are choosing tyranny ……….. no surprises ……….

    • cadcoke5

      Agreed. The tyrants are the members of the Courts, who want to change the constitution by judicial decree.

      • Quark Spark

        Lol. Christians dare call those who follow the law, tyrants.

        Might I remind you of how the Christian theology spread? It did not spread by the truth of its word, but instead by the violence of its believers. Christianity was forced upon the world by theocratic tyrants.

        See Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, all of the Crusades. Just to name a few.

        • Scott Todd

          The Salem Witch Trials were stopped- by three CHRISTIAN MINISTERS!!! The Crusades were merely an attempt at driving out Muslims from land that they had conquered from the Jews and Christians. BTW, the Protestants never had an inquisition, so you’re only half right at most on that one.

        • cadcoke5

          Scott Todd already provided a good reply. I will add that true Christianity is never spread by force. Anyone using that approach to evangelize, is not following the teaching of Christ. But, those who seek to spread Islam by force ARE following the teaching of Mohamed. Those who wish to promote Athiesm by force of law, are following the examples of the athiestic communist nations.

          • Quark Spark

            Please see No True Scotsman fallacy.

            Also there is no such thing as “Atheistic Communism”. Atheism is not a political stance. It does not inform or promote governmental archetypes.

            It is a single position on a single subject. The belief in a deity. Atheists simply do not believe in a god. Nothing else can be said about an atheist with regard to atheism. Anything else that you have been told is propaganda.

            I am an atheist. From that knowledge, the only thing you can assert about me is that I do not believe in the existence of a god. Until I tell you more, everything you would associate with me is an assumption.

            I can tell you that I do not support communism.

            I do, however, support equal treatment under the law. Which is what this entire issue is all about.

          • cadcoke5

            Quark Spark said; “there is no such thing as “Atheistic Communism.”
            I was not attempting to assert that all atheists support communism. Rather, that there is a form of communism that is also atheistic. This seems to be the predominate form of communism.

            Isaac Asimov said in one of his books that he was a “practical atheist”, who lived his life as though there were no god. If governments say that park benches must be faithful to omit any mention of God, then they are “practical atheists”. It is not a stance that is neutral in regards to religion.

            The original intent of the establishment clause does permit things like including God in government activities. LIkewise, it also allows our government to be “practical atheists”. But, many have successfully allowed our governmnet to only apply the redefinition of the establishment clause to God-based faiths, but apply the original intent to the practical atheist faith.

          • Quark Spark

            I’m quite sure there is also a theistic communism. What is your point?

    • libertynottyranny

      The best part of this is that the bench says nothing about which god (is it the God of the Christians & Jews? Is it the Islam’s Allah? Is it a Hindu god? Is it the god of “atheists”: the earth?). Yet, these “non-believers” are quite certain it’s the God of Christianity! On the one hand they are certain there is no God, but on the other, there is ONLY ONE GOD they object to…the LIVING ONE – & The ONLY ONE Who declares that He loves even them.

      “Atheists” – so smart, so intellectual, so “above” needing a deity. YET they get all worked up over a God they claim doesn’t exist, & they supposedly don’t believe in! The truth is they fear Him (& for very good reason) – for w/o repentance there will be no remission of sin. Yet rather than simply repent & call on the name of the Only begotten Son of God, they would rather try to blot Him from all record. Good luck, you’ve had the better part of 2 millennia & by all accounts you are failing miserably.

      Reminds me of the 6th seel of the Revelation, when all the “atheists” start talking to rocks:
      Rev 6:12-17 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.
      And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
      Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
      And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,
      and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
      For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

      • John Love

        “Which God” is something which atheists popularise quite often as an argument. When it comes to application, they completely forget it.

  • Michael C

    As private citizens, we’re all free to make benches like this one and place them on our property. The freedom of speech is one of our basic rights.

    Why, though, would any of us want our local governments to proclaim our personal religious beliefs on public property? By using the government to express our personal religious beliefs, aren’t we in a way compelling speech?

    If the government is made up of “we the people” and we attempt to use it to express our personal religious beliefs, are we not in essence compelling the rest of “we the people” to express our personal religious beliefs even though it may be in direct violation of their own beliefs?

    • Amos Moses

      “Why, though, would any of us want our local governments to proclaim our personal religious beliefs on public property?”

      because many of us have a belief in God and like to proclaim that …. unlike others whose “pride” seems to be in who they are sleeping with ….. or what they are sleeping with …..

    • Jason Todd

      That’s not the point.

      The point is it’s a quotation that contains much wisdom. It also happens to mention God.

      • Brien

        Since it does mention a god – what wisdom would that be since there is no god…?

  • American Atheists have no business or cause to tell the people of this town what they can or cannot do. This is above and beyond the parameters of all that is stupid.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      No but the courts do, and they have ruled against things such as this bench. American Atheists is simply informing the city of such.

      • They are putting their nose where it does not belong.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          Who is? The courts?

          • The ones complaining.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            If AA didn’t have standing, then why did the city capitulate?

          • Because they are cowards.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Okay, well what do you think would happen if this went to trial?

          • John Love

            If the judge would be fair, it would not stand in court. The Establishment Clause specifically says “make no law”.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Judges are guided by precedent, not their own sense of what is “fair.” Precedent holds that this bench is unconstitutional.

          • John Love

            Judges are also guided by Constuitution. And Constitution takes precedence over jucidial precedence. This has always been the case.
            It prevents oligarchy. Otherwise courts can interpret anything, out of a clearly written law.
            Instead of “interpretation”, a judge can go back to the actual clause. And read it as it is.
            Reading “make no law” like “make no law” is not an interpretation. It is using English, common sense, and keeping judicial activism out of Constitution.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I have no idea where the users of this site got their Juris Doctors, but they all need to go back to their law schools with pitchforks and torches and demand a refund.

            Judges are also guided by Constuitution. And Constitution takes precedence over jucidial precedence. This has always been the case.

            That makes no sense. Precedent is “the Constitution,” as applied to a specific circumstance. What you’re saying is the equivalent of “I don’t take acetaminophen, I take Tylenol” or “I’m not eating ham, I’m eating a ham sandwich.”

            Instead of “interpretation”, a judge can go back to the actual clause. And read it as it is.

            You mean the clause in the Constitution about religious messages inscribed on benches? There isn’t one. There are, however, broad, sweeping statements that may or may not encompass such an eventuality. Do they cover this subject? I don’t know. Which is why we need, yes, interpretations.

            You are correct that a judge can, theoretically, “go back to the original clause,” in the sense that he can, theoretically, write whatever order he wants. He could take a case about a park bench and write a ruling about purple polka-dotted aliens.

            However, if he writes an order that is not in line with precedent, it’s reversible. And if he makes a habit out of writing orders that ignore 200 years of precedent, it’s grounds for impeachment. The law simply does not allow judges to “take their ball and go home” every time reality doesn’t comport with their preference.

          • John Love

            Now I really care about America’s future.

            _”That makes no sense. Precedent is “the Constitution,” as applied
            to a specific circumstance. What you’re saying is the equivalent of “I
            don’t take acetaminophen, I take Tylenol” or “I’m not eating ham, I’m
            eating a ham sandwich.””_
            There is a difference between interpretation and the law as it is. A court’s position evolves our time, the document remains same. In the end, each ruling, in effect views Constitution based on what is written.

            _”You mean the clause in the Constitution about religious messages
            inscribed on benches? There isn’t one. There are, however, broad,
            sweeping statements that may or may not encompass such an eventuality. Do they cover this subject? I don’t know. Which is why we need, yes, interpretations.”_

            So you agree there isn’t any. I believe you believe in adding words in Constitution is appropriate.

            _”However, if he writes an order that is not in line with precedent, it’s
            reversible”_

            All court rulings are REVERSIBLE.

            _”And if he makes a habit out of writing orders that ignore
            200 years of precedent, it’s grounds for impeachment.”_

            Which is in hands of Congress. Bravo! You are supporting my side!

            _”The law simply does not allow judges to “take their ball and go home” every time reality doesn’t comport with their preference.”_

            Reading something as it is, is not preference.

            What you are essentially arguing is that whatever a judge decides about a statute is final, even if interprets “x” to be “x'”

            Not only you are arguing oligarchy, your comments have no standing. Even you have to write “if he makes it a habit”, which shows that you agree it is possible without consequences, if it is not a habit, “it is grounds for impeachment”, which means it is an issue to be voted on, and not set in stone.

            It must be really a good amount of brainwashing to not see that you are arguing for me, just with a smug attitude.
            You are hillarious!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Which is in hands of Congress. Bravo! You are supporting my side!

            Not unless your “side” has suddenly changed to “judges must follow precedent.” I never said judges couldn’t be removed from office.

            Reading something as it is, is not preference.

            And who decides what “it is?” Judges.

            What you are essentially arguing is that whatever a judge decides about a statute is final, even if interprets “x” to be “x'”

            I’m saying that if there is precedent from a higher court as to what a statute means, it is final, yes.

            Not only you are arguing oligarchy, your comments have no standing.

            I don’t know what that means, but I assure you, as a practicing attorney for the last 9 years, my qualifications to discuss the law and legal procedure are far beyond yours.

            Even you have to write “if he makes it a habit”, which shows that you agree it is possible without consequences,

            Why are you changing the subject?

            It must be really a good amount of brainwashing to not see that you are arguing for me, just with a smug attitude

            I have no idea if anything I’ve said agrees with you, nor is it relevant unless it pertains to the topic at hand. Put simply, because you’ve drifted far afield, the topic is “judges must follow precedent.” That’s the beginning and end of it.

          • John Love

            _”judges must follow precedent.”_
            No, judges must follow Constitution.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Right, and precedent is how we know what the Constitution says on a given topic.

          • John Love

            No, precedent is how we know what the the judges ruled about a specific clause.

            Are you really saying that you need precedents to understand English?

            LOL. Suppose that a five judge bench decides that a law that states “marijuana is legal” actually means “marijuana is illegal”.
            Does that mean that actual law did say that “marijuana is illegal”

            Kinda’ funny, that your law professors forget to tell you the separation of powers among legislature, executive and judiciary.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            In your absurd scenario, which bears no relation to reality and would never occur, yes, then marijuana would be illegal.

            Back in the real world, judicial rulings are to clarify things like “free exercise of religion shall not be abridged.”

          • John Love

            “In your absurd scenario, which bears no relation to reality and would never occur, yes, then marijuana would be illegal.”

            It is occurring right now, with you arguing that the clause does not mean what it reads.

            Yes, it will be illegal, until it is overturned. The one who overturns it would expose himself to impeachment, which would never occur unless Congress itself starts believing that they actually wrote “marijuana is illegal”

            _”Back in the real world, judicial rulings are to clarify things like “free exercise of religion shall not be abridged.””_

            It is as clear as daylight with respect to scenario You want to add to it to make your point. Judges are not legislatures.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I don’t know what your point is, but mine is this: law is simply not that complicated. Whatever judges rule is the law. It’s that simple. There is no way to get around rulings, no matter how much you disagree with them.

            I’m also aware that you don like this. No one on this site does, and there seems to be a movement sweeping through far-right conservatism to somehow de-legitimize court rulings. So far, this movement has failed to explain what it’s going to replace them with, and how they’re going to do so. Until you do, you have to abide by the same legal system the rest of us do.

          • John Love

            “I don’t know what your point is, but mine is this: law is simply not that complicated. Whatever judges rule is the law. It’s that simple. There is no way to get around rulings, no matter how much you disagree with them.”
            Point me any statute that says that.

            “I’m also aware that you don like this. No one on this site does, and there seems to be a movement sweeping through far-right conservatism to somehow de-legitimize court rulings. So far, this movement has failed to explain what it’s going to replace them with, and how they’re going to do so. Until you do, you have to abide by the same legal system the rest of us do.”
            1) I am not far-right. Not exactly a Conservative.
            2) You are giving courts power that they were never designed to have.
            3) Sorry, the left started this first. For example, Courts earlier ruled that homosexuality can be outlawed. This is merely “whitelash” (lol, Van Jones)
            4) There is nothing in law that suggests you are right. Nothing.
            5) We hope Trump sets the record straight with Neil. It will be funny to interpret your Constitution against you, like you are doing with Christians. As a non-Christian, I would rather join them than you people, who claim that the bench offends all other religions, when the only one that is offended is you. You are just using me as a pawn in your game.
            6) It is funny how no Muslim or Hindu got offended by it. Atheists are worse than Muslims, I tell you.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            “4) There is nothing in law that suggests you are right. Nothing.”

            Marbury v Madison. Yes, I know, you don’t accept the legitimacy of that case. It is, however, a “thing that suggests I’m right.”

            More importantly, and to the point, the issue is not what the law SHOULD BE, but is. I don’t care to hold esoteric debates on hypothetical legal systems. I only practice law as it is. I have no interest in discussing what it should be. If that’s what you want to do, then you’ll have to do it with someone else.

          • John Love

            I just found out that you are dishonest, yet I will reply to this:)
            What are you specifically referring in that case, because i see nothing supporting your point. Please, be clear.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            You’re trying to argue law and you’ve never heard of Marbury? This is like Con Law 101 stuff.

            Marbury v. Madison is the case that established judicial review.

          • John Love

            “You’re trying to argue law and you’ve never heard of Marbury? This is like Con Law 101 stuff.”
            Lol. Ok, Mr. Lawyer.

            “Marbury v. Madison is the case that established judicial review.”
            And I have no problem with it.

            I will link a Jefferson quote though.

            “You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…. Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”

          • John Love

            Secondly, the law is quite clear and Courts are perfectly alright in reading the Constitution as it is.
            Those who don’t and fit their agenda in are wrong.

        • Brien

          How about you get your lying religions out; after all you cannot show evidence of any gods – so it looks like you are the fool here!

          • Where do you think the universe, this planet and all the people on it came from?

          • Brien

            It took me a high school education and a university degree, and I understand science. Your ignorance is no excuse for being a public fool. That is a dumb question!!
            Your knowledge will come from opening a book instead of useless debates on an idiot site like this.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Americans are allergic to the word “theocracy,” but the real horror on earth is the sodomization of the world by godless America’s depravity. UN should add “Christian morality” to the definition of human rights this century. All Western forefathers especially the Americans dreamed of God’s Kingdom on earth and established human rights and justice and freedom.

  • Fellow believers: do not grow weary or fearful concerning what the Enemy of your souls is doing. What’s important is cultivating and growing your own relationship with God; in spending time with Him, praying to Him, and being obedient to His Word.

    Mark these words: America has flaunted her sin like Sodom, and she (and the world) grows darker by the day. Her time for judgment is set — and she will soon be destroyed.

    Many will die and perish when these events happen, so what’s important is whether or not you have repented from your sins, and are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive them and wash you clean in the very blood that He shed for you on the cross.

    Beloved, it is coming sooner than you think.

    • Quark Spark

      Any time now, right? I mean, it’s been over 2000 years. The guy still hasn’t shown up. He was supposed to come back within a generation according to the bible. No dice, though.

  • NHConservative777

    The fools have no understanding of what the Founders understood clearly. And they don’t even realize that in removing it they are simply proving how true Penn’s statement was:

    “Men who aren’t governed by God, will be governed by tyrants.”

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Why should we be concerned with what the founders wanted when they were all dead by the time the 14th Amendment–which this lawsuit is based on–was enacted?

    • Brien

      ”Men who are governed by God, will be governed by tyrants.”
      See how that works?? !!

  • BahamaMama

    Cities tolerate – in fact, suppport – gay pride parades, but the mere mention of God on a bench is not to be tolerated. Celebrating homosexuality is cool, but the mere mention of God makes them go ballistic.

    Obviously the goal is no longer equality. The goal is to make Christians into second-class citizens.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Cities allow Christian expression also. I’m not aware of any Christian pride parades but I’m also not aware of anyone asking and having their permit rejected.

      Also, the issue of the bench is that it violates the Establishment Clause. There is nothing in the Constitution forbidding governments from promoting homosexuality.

  • Ambulance Chaser

    This story omitted certain relevant quotes:

    City Manger Mark Schroyer: “Our position is very poor from a legal standpoint.”

    Council Member Ronald Gustafson: “I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I don’t feel it (the case) is winnable as to how it relates to the inscription. I can’t see how it relates to honoring vets, but it can be perceived to be demeaning to certain people of a certain belief. Freedom of religion means we all have a right to our beliefs. It’s a shame that something that’s been there for 13 years has fallen into our laps, but as a government, it’s our responsibility to see all sides. I don’t see how that particular engraving can be defended as a freedom of speech. It is, but it’s also stating a pretty strong religious opinion.”

  • CMY

    This Bench must remain…

  • gingerbug1

    The bench says it all. The Oil City Pa. council, are the tyrants.

  • Mary Carter

    The truth hurts the tyrants that are continuing to try to overthrow our government. I never thought I would live long enough to see this garbage in America. Pray to God continuously to stop these evil doers.

  • Linda

    The states have the right to overrule the federal government as written in the Constitution, but the sad part is states up north are so liberal that all they want to do is destroy our Constitution, and make up one that fits their narrative. Our country is just about gone.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      States have no such right at all.

      • Linda

        Read your Constitution. Our forefathers wrote it to protect the people from the federal government. Look up Convention of States. Texas is voting on it today and other states have already voted it in. You might be bullied by the federal government, but they only have the power if the people give it to them. Remember, the government works for us, not the other way around, according to Constitution.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          I don’t see any specific citation in there that would prove anything you’re saying.

  • CrankyHuman

    Looks like the tyrants won.

    • John Love

      Sure they did.

  • msFeathers

    For all the people that want to do away with God and Christians…you will someday get your wish. God’s Patience will indeed run out and Satan will have his time.

  • Patriot159

    The quote is proving to be true, the tyrants prevailed in removing the nasty bench. These pagans think they can “remove” God. HAHAHAHAHA! Jesus Christ was, is and always will be LORD!

    • Brien

      Except that ‘he’ never existed in real history – just in your comic book history!!!

  • Luke

    I think the atheist shouldn’t be allowed anywhere Godly things are since it hurts their widdle feelings, the loons..

    • Ambulance Chaser

      More accurately, “since it violates the Constitution.”

      • Luke

        It doesn’t violate the constitution, that’s just a figment of the hater’s little weak mind

        • Ambulance Chaser

          If the Supreme Court says it does, then it does. That’s how our system works.

          • Luke

            The USSC didn’t say it violated the constitution, even our money has “in God we trust” on it and the motto of the USA is “in God we trust” so that USSC argument is a lie..

          • Ambulance Chaser

            The definition of “lie” is not “a statement that Luke disagrees with.”

            No, the Supreme Court has not ruled on this particular bench. But we have plenty of case law that covers this issue already and yes, it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the Due a Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

            Everson v. Board of Education held that the Establishment Clause applies to the states and local governments. Lemon v. Kurtzman holds that the government action must 1. have a valid secular purpose, 2. neither advance nor inhibit religion, and 3. not entangled the government with religion.

            The message on this bench violates 2 and maybe 1 as well.

          • Luke

            LOL, all this drivel and it means nothing Scripture in any public place is not against the law or the constitution..
            If reading or seeing God’s words in public bothers people then they have bigger problems than just getting their widdle feelings hurt..Pathetic

          • Ambulance Chaser

            “LOL, all this drivel and it means nothing Scripture in any public place is not against the law or the constitution.”

            I just told you how it was. If you’d like to present a rebuttal other than stomping your foot and repeating yourself, I’d love to hear it.

          • Luke

            My evidence is all over gov’t buildings, our money and our country’s motto, where’s your evidence?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Evidence for what? Are you even clear on what the topic we’re discussing is?

          • Luke

            Give up Huh, I knew you would when facts are used..

          • Brien

            Where did you hide these ‘facts’ – oh the same facts like in your Bable? Like a global flood or a Moses that never existed – in fact you cannot even prove your jesus existed!!!

          • Brien

            Does asking for proof of your god bother you? Why? After all – you make the claim of an imaginary friend – you need to prove that – child!

          • Luke

            I don’t have to prove anything to you, if you get your widdle feelings hurt by the bench then don’t look at it, child..

          • Brien

            No proof = A Lie! Up to you what you choose to believe but that does not alter the fact that you choose lies! Pretty stupid in my book!

          • Luke

            What lies child? If you say what’s written on the bench hurts you, then you’re a liar, but I bet if it had a sentence with nothing but the curse words you love you would say nothing even if it hurt children to read filthy liberal talk..

  • Bella Gray

    Well, let’s have all religious garb banned too. Then we’ll go after people who wear clothing that supports sports teams, after all that is supporting violence and hate against other teams. What else can we object to, I’m sure there is just tons.…

    I have never understood an atheist who fights to remove your something, for their nothing. They are essentially mean spirited, hollow, would be thieves.

    • Brien

      Just prove your god exists! Isn’t that the normal way of doing things?

      • Bella Gray

        That’s the thing Brien, no proof is necessary. Religion is a personal thing between the believer and God. You don’t get to steal from others just because you can. Additionally the Constitution assure the pursuit of happiness as long as you harm no one else in the process.

        • Brien

          That is the ‘thing’ that to make a claim of truth you must show proof of that claim or all that you have is a lie – regardless of your opinion – your opinion does not alter facts. If you want a deluded ‘thing’ with your imagination – that is fine, but just shut up in public or you will need proof for your ‘thing’! Yes, proof is necessary!

      • Bella Gray

        The thing is Brien, proof isn’t needed. The belief in God is a personal thing between the believer and God. Additionally the Constitution assures the pursuit of happiness, as long as you harm no one else in the process.

  • Colorado_Patriot60

    Trump should make it a National Park, that would piss them off. Then demand that the Cities Parks and Rec. protect it from the communist leftists.

  • MadScientist1023

    “Men who aren’t governed by God will be governed by tyrants.”

    Isn’t that the same as saying all men will be governed by tyrants?

  • Dave Nichols

    Ok we need volunteers bench sitters to ensure this is not removed! …

    or we could be put in the historical museum for all generations to see.

  • Do you think this could have ever occurred in 17th-century Christian Colonial America whose governments of, by, and for God were established upon Yahweh’s unchanging moral law, beginning with the First Commandment? Of course, not!

    Consequently, there must be a definitive moment in America’s history when her Christian character and biblical course were formally altered. That point was in the 1787 when the constitutional framers replaced the 17th-century Colonial governments with their own humanistic government of, by, and for the people based upon capricious man-made Enlightenment and Masonic traditions. This later included the First Commandment-violating First Amendment, which enabled polytheism to flourish here in America, which, in turn, has emboldened and empowered today’s atheists.

    For more, see online Chapter 3 “The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Online Books page, click on the top entry, and scroll down to Chapter 3.

    Then Chapter 11 “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.”

  • gman3b

    Guess our money will be next?
    Mine still says “In God We Trust.”

    • Brien

      That started almost 200 years after DOI! Grow up!

  • Chet

    Wow, what a rotten shame. Another example of Christians and Jews buckling at the knees in the face of liberal anti God anti Christ anti American adversity only to drop and roll over. Why not take a stand, dare to be a Daniel, stand back and see how the hand of the Lord would move in your favor… Stop yielding to the Devil and his own, Church, you’re on the winning side, remember…

    • Brien

      Why don’t you just prove that your god exists and all this goes away!!

      • Chet

        There are probably many differing approaches to be offered by many Christians regarding your charge. For me, very simply, the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary, via repentance and faith in His willing sacrifice on behalf of all us sinners, washed away all my myriad sins in His precious soul cleansing blood. His Holy Spirit convicted me of my personal wickedness, assured me that I was lost and on my way to eternity in Hell, without God and without hope. Then, as well, The HS presented the Lord Jesus Christ to me and in repentance and faith believing just why Christ came to Earth to ultimately suffer and die for me, personally, on Calvary’s Cross, to be buried and arise shortly thereafter was all I needed. I said yes to Christ, taking advantage of His free offer of great mercy and grace. All my myriad sins were then washed away and I was cleansed in His precious blood, and, get this, then, all such sins were cast away far as East is to West, and buried in the depths of the deepest sea never to be remembered or held against me ever again. No man can do such as men may forgive, but they never forget… Jesus saves from the guttermost (me) to the uttermost, perhaps you. Now, my life is wonderfully transformed for teh better. I am by no means become good much less perfect, but I am no longer the miserable wretched drunken sinner I once was, among a whole host of other filthiness. The Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary is the solitary answer to man’s sins. Thanks for this opportunity to share God’s love and His means of man’s salvation in Christ… God bless!

        • Dianne

          Chet, your witness for Christ is outstanding. Bravo and God Bless you!😇

          • Chet

            Thank you, dear sister. All praise and glory and honor to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary.

          • Dianne

            You are quite welcome dear brother and a BIG AMEN TO THAT!!!😇

        • Brien

          We repeat again and again while you blather on with your deluded rant:
          Why don’t you just prove that your god exists and all this goes away!!

          • Chet

            In that all men ultimately go the way of all flesh, you’ll find out all you wanted to know one day for sure. Then, your faith will become firsthand knowledge to the contrary… Out…

          • Brien

            Hilarious! You do know we hear that crap constantly and that has absolutely no meaning?!!
            A ‘judgement day’?? For what – from what – prove your silly gods first. Your initial presumption has no validity.
            Next you will be praying for me…!!!
            (there never was a Jesus; get over yourselves!)

  • Dianne

    The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
    Proverbs 10:24

    The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. Psalm 37:13

    The horrific death of former founder of the American Atheist organization Madalyn Murray O’Hair whose infamous Supreme Court ruling in 1963 officially ending Bible-reading in American public schools is proof that God’s word is true.

    • Brien

      Explain how that is ‘proof’?? Can you be more stupid? Why don’t you see how ludicrous that sounds?

      • Dianne

        Brien, it is wisdom to NOT call people stupid because you disagree with them. Also it is against the guideline rules for commenting.

        Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:19

        And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? Luke 18:7

        • Brien

          Wrong!
          Ignorance is simply not having the facts or data with which to make a decision of an opinion.
          Stupidity is ignoring, and or denying facts and data when given.
          We have asked for your data and facts – you refuse using excuse after pathetic excuse to wallow in your ignorance – Yes – these are the actions of stupid people.
          Don’t try to use your ‘community standards’ excuse to expect courtesy when you blatantly lie to people and refuse to validate your claims. You have earned the precise definition of being called stupid …and then you go quoting crap from your fake book…?!
          If the shoe fits….

          • Dianne

            Brien, it is quite obvious that you have come here with intentional hostility and for no other reason but to be provocative. I hope that you will learn civility before it brings about your self destruction. Please DO NOT REPLY TO ME AGAIN.

            Proverbs 17:16 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

  • Brien

    Simple! Next time do not put religious stuff on our tax-paid public facilities

  • TheMiddleClassTaxSlave

    Who is the Pu$$y who is so self important, that he can’t tolerate the word “God”… on a freaking park bench …. for “Christ” Sake… your tub-a-lard back is what is facing it! hell … im basically an atheist and it doesn’t offend me…. people need to strap on a blanking sac …

  • Michael Farmer

    Oil City bench, the VFW or Church should order 10000 t-shirts or bumper stickers with the message, sell to help with legal fee’s and make America look at the message. God Bless America